Actor turned winemaker Sam Neill will headline the Pinot Noir NZ 2013 conference in Wellington next year. The New Zealand-raised star, famous for his roles in Jurassic Park and The Piano, owns Pinot Noir producer Two Paddocks in Central Otago.
As reported on thedrinksbusiness.com, chairman Alastair Maling MW announced the news as he opened registration for the event, held in the New Zealand capital every three years. “Sam was our first choice and we’re tickled pink because he’ll set the tone of “serious fun” over the four day event,” Maling said.
“Sam isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty – we’re trying to uncover the real work behind New Zealand’s fantastic Pinot Noirs, which have beguiled the world,” Maling said. Pinot Noir NZ 2013 will be the fifth event of its kind. Maling describes the look and feel of the 2013 event as “kiwi laid back elegance”, and is hoping to engage visitors with challenging talk, memorable food and “unbeatable” New Zealand Pinots.
Four days of Pinot workshops will focus on the country’s five major Pinot regions, with confirmed speakers including Jasper Morris MW, Matt Kramer and Lisa Perotti Brown MW. More than 100 producers have signed up to the event, which will take place from 28-31 January 2013.
The conference, supported by New Zealand Winegrowers, was first held in 2001 to explore and celebrate Pinot Noir in New Zealand and has since established a dedicated following. Registration for Pinot Noir NZ 2013 is now open. As reported on Wine and the City last week, Marlborough is emerging as one of the most exciting regions to watch for Pinot Noir, according to a number of the country’s top producers.